April 23, 2015

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Even though they were indoors in the middle of spring several University of Notre Dame students were quite eager to put on a heavy blue jacket Monday night at Purcell Pavilion.

The Notre Dame Monogram Club hosted the 2015 spring letter jacket ceremony inside Club Naimoli and 60 student-athletes, cheerleaders, managers, athletic trainers and video technicians were able to celebrate their entrance into the exclusive company.

The letter jacket ceremony, which is held twice a year and covers all sports and support groups, recognizes first-time Monogram winners. The event began in 2008 and holds a special place within Notre Dame athletics.

Monogram Club Executive Director Brant Ust (’00, baseball) welcomed everyone to the event and Club president Haley Scott DeMaria (’95, swimming) served as emcee and provided some opening remarks about what it means to earn a Monogram at the University of Notre Dame. She then handed it over to University of Notre Dame Vice President/Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick, who is an honorary Monogram recipient.

“When we award you this Monogram, we are not in any way awarding it to you to congratulate you on what you’ve done; we’re inviting you because you’ve earned the right to wear that Monogram into a very special place in this University,” Swarbrick stated.

“This is a symbol that you have the opportunity to wear the rest of your life. Regardless of whether you have the jacket on or not, you’re wearing it because you are identified forever as a Monogram member. It doesn’t cease when you leave here. It helps define you when you leave here that you came to a university where the demands to achieve athletic excellence, personal growth and academic achievement are as rigorous as any place in the country. You signed up for that and you mastered it and this is a symbol of that.

“If you accept this invitation into this club and you choose to be identified for the rest of your life as a Monogram award winner at the University of Notre Dame, you accept the responsibility to do that in the same way, with the same trait, in the same manner that allowed you to earn that Monogram.”

Former Monogram Club president and two-time Academic All-American Joe Restic (’79, football) later took to the podium and gave a passionate speech about how attending the University of Notre Dame and earning a Monogram shaped his life.

“The letter jacket stands for commitment, dedication, teamwork, sacrifice and personal pride,” Restic, an orthodontist, said. “It has become one of the endearing traditions here at Notre Dame.

“If there’s one piece of advice I could leave with you tonight it’s to take care of the educational opportunities you have here on campus. Notre Dame has a great tradition of educating its student-athletes and I’m living proof that education will pay off many times over in the future.

“Dare to be great in everything you do is one of the valuable lessons they teach us here at Notre Dame. Thirty-eight years ago I didn’t understand it at the time, but I’ve come to realize over the years that I received much more than a letter jacket … it actually was an induction into a club that would affect me for the rest of my life.

“This letter jacket is a great achievement, but it’s the person inside that jacket that will determine your legacy.”

Each team and group was recognized on stage as Monogram Club First Vice President Kevin O’Connor (’89, lacrosse) and the Club’s second vice president Terri Vitale (’94, ’95, tennis) read the names of every individual.

Mike McGlinchey (’17, football) gave some final remarks to close the evening.

“As student-athletes of Notre Dame, it our responsibility to be at the forefront, leading and representing the University to the best of our abilities,” McGlinchey stated. “Tonight we received our first Monogram and we are forever tied and bonded to the Notre Dame family.

“We represent thousands of athletes who have laid the groundwork and brought our program to prominence. We are charged with the duty to continue working and striving for the excellence and success that belongs at Our Lady’s University. When we all signed on the dotted line to commit to attend Notre Dame, we joined an incredible group of people who committed to the Monogram that we now wear on our chest.

“Tonight we are all being recognized for taking the first step in encompassing what it means to be a Notre Dame student-athlete. As I’ve said, Notre Dame is going to challenge your mind, body and soul in order to achieve success. But it is in dealing with the pain and adversity and stepping outside of your comfort zone where growth occurs. Life is about pushing your limits and pushing how far you can go. Notre Dame will allow you to do everything you want and more because it develops its students, especially its student-athletes, into the best versions of themselves.

“I hope everyone understands what an incredible place we have been blessed enough to attend and the opportunities we have all been given. I am honored to receive my Monogram this evening, as I’m sure you all are too, as we represent Notre Dame and embark on a journey throughout the rest of our collegiate careers that will challenge us, shape us and make us.”

The Monogram Club is thrilled to welcome its newest members and wishes them the best of luck as they continue to proudly represent the University of Notre Dame.

Student Athletic Trainers
Colleen Doyle
Katherine McIntyre
Anna McNamara
Adam Rainey
Michelle Summers
Amber Thomas

Kevin Blonien
Bryan Doane
Christopher Genco
Molly Mohr
Alexandra Westby

Men’s and Women’s Cross Country
Kevin Durham
Karen Lesiewicz
Kathryn Moran

Grant Blankenship
Greg Bryant
Daniel Cage
Charlie Fiessinger
Kolin Hill
Torii Hunter Jr.
Eric Lee
Tyler Luatua
Greer Martini
Jacob Matuska
Mike McGlinchey
Nyles Morgan
Tyler Plantz
Cody Riggs
Hunter Smith
Durham Smythe
EJ Soto
Drue Tranquill
Andrew Trumbetti
Malik Zaire

Men’s Soccer
Jeffrey Farina
Jon Gallagher
Trevor Gonzales
Matt Habrowski
Michael Shipp

Women’s Soccer
Monica Flores
Sabrina Flores
Jennifer Jasper
Kaitlin Klawunder
Taylor Klawunder
Ginny McGowan
Karin Muya
Katie Uhler

Student Managers
Allyson Darragh (baseball)
Michelle Duncan (men’s soccer)
Andrew Hof (baseball)
Billy Hughes (men’s basketball)
Gregory Moyers (men’s tennis)
Peter Richer (men’s basketball)

Maddie Dilfer
Samantha Fry
Natalie Johnson
Sydney Kuhn
Maddie Plumlee

Video Technicians
Robert Hann
Liam Madden